FRENCH RÉSISTANCE - NON
By Daviebee and Lone_Piper
Come on over – enjoy our culture, spend all your money in our bars and restaurants and travelling hundreds of miles between grounds for each game. Tickets??? Je m’excuse, monsieur – we never said we wanted you in our grounds." The fact that I lost £100 on non-refundable train fares in the vain belief that I’d actually get to see more than one match didn’t help matters. Previous visits have also taught me to carefully scrutinise receipts for added "extras" and true to form they didn’t disappoint this time either with attempts to charge us for imaginary food and conveniently forgetting that we’d already paid a deposit on our hotel booking.
Firstly, I haven’t a lot of time for the French. Their attitude at the last World Cup was an utter disgrace. "
However, my contempt for the Parisian businessman’s treatment of visitors is more than counter-balanced by my undying respect for their fitba’ team which meant it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that myself, Pars fan Lone Piper and his nephew Colin the Hun (slight aberration in the family DNA) arrived in Paris. LP was soon to provide us with the quote of the week. Standing in the centre of one of the planet’s cultural capitals, the very place that gave the world cordon bleu cuisine, he mused, "Must be a McDonald’s aroond here somewhere…" Anyway, let’s fast forward to the game.
No point beating about the bush – we were ANNIHILATED on Wednesday night. The French are from another planet, never mind another country and it’s fair to say that we’ve no-one who’d get near their squad never mind their team. Let’s get things in perspective though – we were playing the best team in the world, a side packed full of world-class ability and athleticism, a side who just don’t play friendly matches and who were fired up to perform for an adoring 80,000 crowd. They’d have murdered any team that night.
I thought we started off not too badly so the last thing we needed was to sclaff a clearance and see the ball end up in the path of Zidane who dispatched it clinically home with no messing about. Zidane is awesome and I couldn’t believe it when he controlled a ball with his face at one point, taking 3 of our players out with one move at another. Their passing to their wing-backs was incredible with the recipients already looking up for the next runner in the certain knowledge that the ball was going to land right on their foot.
It had to be high fives all round
Look up "brilliant" in a Thesaurus and put the string of entries in front of this French side – it was a privilege to watch them even if that first half seemed never-ending. What can you do – 4 attempts at goal and we’re 4-0 down? Who could have lived with France on that kind of form? I don’t subscribe to the view that they took it easy in the second half. Like most professionals who know a good night’s work has already been done they obviously weren’t going to go hell for leather, but they still created numerous chances which they certainly weren’t trying to miss. Their attitude on the night was summed up for me by the sight of Neil McCann in a dangerous position late on finding himself surrounded by 3 opponents.
On a night of few positives, Crainey and Caldwell can hold their heads up. It must have been an amazing learning experience for them playing against such sheer quality as it would have been for the other kids watching from the bench. Surely their attitude has to be to work as hard as they can on their game and lifestyles in the hope and expectation that they can become as good at their profession as their magnificent opponents. What a team in blue! It's just a shame it was our boys in the white jerseys!